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Home > Auctions > 5th December 2023 > Monumental Byzantine Limestone Chi Rho Roundel

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LOT 0229

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 17,340 - 23,110
USD ($) 19,040 - 25,390

Current bid: £10,000 (+bp*)
(1 Bid, Reserve not met)

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(1 Bid, Reserve not met)   |   Current bid: £10,000
31 1/4 in. (84 kg total, 77 cm high including stand).

Divided into six sections by Christogram letters chi and rho, two of the segments with Greek letters alpha and omega, the other four segments with floral ornaments; a laurel wreath to the edge; mounted on a custom-made display stand.

From a German collection.
Acquired from Germany in 2010.
Ex London, UK, collection.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.11928-209561.

Cf. Mendel, G., Catalogue des sculptures grecques, romaines et byzantines, Constantinople, 1914, nos.722-723 (2398-2249), vol.II, pp.519-520; 1174 (823) p.417; Grabar, A., L’etá d’oro di Giustiniano, (The Golden Age of Justinian), Milan, 1966, figs.255, 288, 296; for an item in similar style, but with a simple cross and leaves, see also the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, accession no.10.175.89.

This monumental sculpture was probably affixed at the top of a church façade, a type of decoration also used in the Western Romanesque art during the Middle Ages (see the sculpted Chi Rho monogram at the Monastery of San Juan de la Pena, Spain). The presence of letters alpha and omega shows a powerful link with the Christian cult, especially as the two letters are incised beside the Chi Rho. These letters are symbols of eternity of Jesus: in the final verses of the Bible, Jesus describes himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation, 22.13).